In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about developing mobile apps with Python.
According to the TIOBE index, Python is the world’s most popular programming language. It’s a server-side programming language that allows you to create scripts, websites, and web applications, and is great for dealing with dynamic content, databases, and user functionality in your web app or website.
However, Python is a web programming language, not one designed for mobile. To access the benefits of both Python and mobile apps, you’ll need something to bridge the gap. That’s what we’ll show you in this post.
Post Summary: The most effective way to use Python for mobile apps is to build a web app, then convert it to a wrapper app using MobiLoud. This is cheap, fast, and allows you to convert every part of your Python web app to mobile apps, without any additional development work. Keep reading to learn more, or hit the button below to book a free demo.
Python is not a mobile app development framework. It’s designed for websites and web applications, and thus doesn’t have everything you need to publish native apps for iOS and Android devices.
If you’re proficient in Python and want to use it in a mobile app, you’ll need an additional framework or tool to generate a native mobile UI for your app. The same goes if you’ve already built a Python web app and want to convert it to mobile. There’s no way to simply hit a button and convert your Python app to mobile.
Let’s look at three options that allow you to keep using Python while developing your app as a mobile app.
You can connect your web app to a native mobile front end using an API, use a Python mobile framework to build a cross-platform hybrid app, or use MobiLoud to create a wrapper app.
We’ll break down each, and their pros and cons, below.
It is possible to build a truly native app and utilize Python in the backend. However, be warned that this is a lot of work and expense.
You’ll first build the front end of native apps to run on Android and iOS. These will need to be two separate builds, as each operating system requires its own programming language (Java or Kotlin for Android apps, Objective-C or Swift for iOS).
For the backend, you’ll build your Python app for the web, like normal. Then you’ll need to build an API for your app, which you can use to connect the web backend to the Android and iOS native apps.
The advantage of this option is complete flexibility over your mobile apps, full access to mobile device features, and optimal performance.
However, it’s also going to be insanely expensive. You’ll need to pay multiple developers high hourly rates over the course of MINIMUM 3 months (more likely 6-9 months, depending on the complexity of your app). All up, you’re looking at $50,000 at least.
This option is thus not financially feasible in most cases.
Several frameworks exist that let you build a mobile front end for a Python application, allowing Python code to run on mobile.
These Python frameworks include Kivy, Beeware, and PyQT. Each works in slightly different ways, but in general, they bridge the gap between Python web applications and the code necessary for apps to be downloaded and used on mobile operating systems.
Python mobile frameworks are faster than building native apps from scratch, and therefore cheaper as well. But building a Python mobile app this way still requires some development work. You or your developer will need to learn how to use these frameworks, or you’ll need to hire someone who knows how.
Python mobile frameworks may not be the most reliable either, and you may struggle to make your app look and work exactly the way you want on mobile.
The third option is to use MobiLoud to convert a Python app directly into mobile apps.
You’ll build a web app with Python, like normal. MobiLoud then takes your app and wraps it in native mobile code, allowing it to run on mobile operating systems.
The app uses the exact same code and functionality of the Python web app, with mobile UI layered on top. Like the image below:
This is the fastest, most affordable, and most effective option of the three we’ve discussed here. It’s the only one that allows you to directly convert a Python web app to mobile. The only reason you’d do it any other way is if you need features that are unavailable through the web and can only be obtained through the native SDKs. But these days, a web app can achieve most things a native app can do.
The first step of building your Python mobile app will be to create your Python application for the web.
You don’t need to know anything about mobile app development for this. However, you should ensure that your app is optimized and responsive for mobile screens.
Once your Python web app is built, and mobile-optimized, you can start by booking a free demo of the MobiLoud platform. Alternatively, just sign up and start using the platform straight away.
There are just a few things that you need to do. The whole process takes less than a month - you may even have your apps live and in the App Stores in as little as two weeks. Here’s how it works.
That’s it. The process couldn’t be simpler.
It doesn’t stop there, either. We handle app updates and maintenance for you, which is usually a big expense with custom-built native apps.
MobiLoud has provided a quick, painless, and affordable way for over 2,000 businesses to convert their website or web app into mobile apps.
So why is MobiLoud the best choice, over building native apps or utilizing Python mobile frameworks?
The only reason to go with another option is if you need mobile-specific features for your app, which depart from what your web app does. In 99% of cases, MobiLoud provides everything you need in your mobile app, for much lower investment.
Get on a demo call now to get the process started. If you still want to know more, we’ll give you more information on how building Python mobile apps with MobiLoud works below.
A wrapper app is a type of hybrid mobile app, which shares code between web and mobile
The app “wraps” your web app in mobile app code. The app uses webviews, which are live browser windows integrated within your mobile app, to display your web app just as it appears on the mobile web.
That lets you publish your app for mobile operating systems, without needing to rebuild anything. You’ll layer mobile UI elements, such as a tab menu and native navigation, on top of the wrapper to give a user experience that you expect from a mobile app.
A wrapper app is technically not a native app, but the difference is negligible.
From the user’s perspective, it looks, feels, and functions just like any other native app. It can be downloaded to the user’s device, it gives an app icon on their home screen, and does everything you expect of a mobile app today.
The only reason you might notice a difference is if you need to tap into device features, such as the GPS, camera, or microphone. But for 95% of apps, there’s no difference between what you can do with a native app vs a hybrid wrapper app.
Apple and Google’s guidelines prohibit low-quality wrapper apps from being published in their app stores.
These low-quality wrapper apps are those with simply a webview and nothing else. It’s just a blank window showing web content.
MobiLoud’s apps are different. They integrate mobile UI elements and mobile features, to give a fully optimized mobile user experience.
These wrapper apps are fully compliant with app store guidelines. In fact, we’re so sure that we can guarantee your apps will be approved for submission. If not, we’ll refund your money.
The best part about this type of app is that any updates to the web app sync with the mobile apps in real-time.
Custom-coded native apps will likely require a developer on staff to update the code base whenever you want to make a change to the app. This is an unnecessary hassle, and adds up to a huge cost over time.
With the wrapper approach, you manage everything from your Python code base. You’re free to make tweaks, and changes and add new features to your app without worrying about your mobile apps becoming out of date.
Book a free, personalized demo now to convert your Python web app to high-quality, like-native mobile apps.
You’ll enjoy the many benefits of mobile apps, such as an improved user experience, increased retention and loyalty, the ability to communicate with your customers via mobile push notifications, and a stronger brand presence from being in the app stores.
All this while saving potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and 6-12 months’ development time, compared to building native apps and integrating them with your Python code.
Talk to one of our app experts now for examples of other successful apps that were built with MobiLoud. You can also check out a number of case studies from businesses that went with this approach, and didn’t regret it.